You’ve Booked a DJ — What is the Typical Format?

DJs can set the tone of any event. This can include weddings, corporate parties, non-profit events, birthday celebrations, bar and bat mitzvahs, quinceañeras, anniversaries, and private events. However, if you are thinking about booking a DJ for your upcoming special event, you may be curious about the typical format of an event like this.

At DJ Dave Entertainment, we have a proven track record spanning over 20 years that demonstrates how our services have consistently delighted our clients. And though the events and venues vary, the format of the affair remains pretty much the same all the time. 

How does a typical DJ event usually go down?

DJs are mostly booked on Saturday nights. And the events they are booked for generally last between four and six hours, beginning at four in the afternoon and closing at ten at night. Half of the time is dedicated to dinner, while the other half is set aside for dancing. 

Generally, the venue can be anywhere you choose to host your event — it does not even need a ceiling or walls. Having said that, some types of venues are used for events more often than others. 

The following are some of the most common types of venues:

● Bars, clubs, and pubs
● Restaurants
● Banquet halls
● Hotels or resorts
● Conference or business centers
● Community centers
● Country clubs
● Parks and fields


The fact that you have someone else to work with you to plan a fun evening is one of the many benefits of booking a DJ. A DJ’s job is not only to play music — one of their responsibilities is to keep your event from becoming stale. A DJ can also serve as an MC or referee for different party games. They can even take on the role of someone who awards the prizes at the end of a game.

Your DJ will work with you to plan the number of activities, line dances, games, and announcements that will be incorporated into the entirety of your event. Some people enjoy classic line dances such as the Macarena and the Cupid Shuffle to keep the energy level high, whereas others may insist that they not be played.

A good DJ will consider your needs and requests seriously.

General DJ Events

It is standard practice for a DJ to play for about four hours at non-wedding events. In most cases, the event will begin with the guests casually filing in and mingling for the first hour. 

Next, dinner is served at a table or as a buffet, followed by dessert and coffee for the next hour. Your guests may grab some caffeine and get their energy levels up before hitting the dance floor later! 

After everyone has had their desserts and coffee, the DJ will finally open up the dance floor to get the party started.

Wedding DJ Events

The average duration of wedding receptions is between four and five hours. 

The format for a wedding will be pretty similar to the general event, but it will be stretched by an hour or two because the event will include a ceremony (which typically lasts about 30 minutes) in addition to other activities such as:

● Cocktail hour
● Grand entrance and first dance
● Toasts
● Dinner
● Cake cutting
● Bouquet toss
● Open dance floor 

Your wedding DJ will play an important role on your special day, and their responsibilities will go beyond simply playing music and keeping the dance floor crowded. In fact, a professional wedding DJ is responsible for many jobs, some of which are in plain view while others are less obvious.

For example, your wedding DJ can:

● Help enforce the day-of timeline
● Bring high-quality sound equipment
● Ensure all equipment is working
● Set the mood with the right music
● Serve as MC (Master of Ceremonies)
● Cover up any issues that might occur

The Dance Floor

What is the most important thing that people need from their DJ? It should not come as a surprise that the answer is that they need the DJ to ensure that everyone is dancing and having a good time. Keeping the dance floor packed is what the vast majority of people believe is the DJ’s most important job.

Approximately two hours are spent on the dance floor, which is the most exciting part of the event (especially at weddings). Before your event, your DJ will work with you to determine the specific music genre and individual requests that you would like to play during the event. 

Additionally, they may encourage your guests to make requests (provided you allow them to do so) or read the room to maximize the event’s energy. Veteran DJs are familiar with the songs that are popular with people of all ages and at all types of events.

The DJ Setup and Teardown

Unless other arrangements have been made, the arrival time of your DJ will be around two hours before the time that your event is scheduled to start. Because setting up takes about an hour, this allows your DJ to finish setting up before the guests arrive. 

In addition, your DJ will carry out a comprehensive sound check to ensure that their DJ set will sound great.

After the event is over and guests have left, the DJ will stay to tear down and pack up all of their equipment. This should take less time than the initial setup — only about thirty minutes to an hour. 

The cost of the setup, soundcheck, and teardown are included in the package’s overall price. Some DJ’s charge extra for these, but we don’t believe that is right.

The Summary

This is what you can expect when booking a DJ for your event. Always keep in mind that not all DJs are equal. When looking for a DJ, take your time to find the right one since you want to make sure you get the very best. Because booking a professional DJ can set the direction of an event, it is important to be mindful of your selection.

If you are looking for a DJ anywhere in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, get in touch with DJ Dave Entertainment. Our professional DJs will ensure that your next event is planned carefully, and is fun, and memorable. Call us at (978) 254-1155 or contact us online to discuss your upcoming event!